really CHOOSE someone?

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The concept behind “The Career Chose Me” came to me when I realized that the way most people choose a career is often mis-guided or ill-informed. The secret to choosing any career is to focus on your strengths, passions, skills and then you will naturally gravitate towards work that was meant for you.

The big mistake most people make is choosing a career from a list of possible high-paying salary jobs or taking an assessment test. Don’t do that. Yes look at the lists and yes take the assessment tests, but don’t stop there.

Over the years we’ve helped lots of people get inspired and unstuck and find work that was meant for them.

We offer access to an inspired community of like-minded people as well as one-on-one life-coaching, group courses, virtual-conferences, retreats, newsletters, blogs and books. Our goal is to help twenty-somethings narrow in on their calling and figure out that one thing.

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Brandon Riley is the founder of The Career Chose Me, a life-coaching company and book with a mission to help twenty-somethings figure out their calling and choose a career that was meant for them.

In 2017 Brandon took his experience breaking into the Film/TV industry and wrote a book “The Career Chose Me” that highlights his path from a young age and the discovery process that followed.

Combining his experience writing this book, doing podcast/radio interviews and speaking to schools Brandon began a career coaching program designed to help get people unstuck and narrow in on their goals.

He’s created a practical approach that gives young people a chance to evaluate where they are and take actionable steps forward and accomplish their dreams.

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When I was about seven or eight years old I remember going to a concert with my Dad and sister and we were accompanied by a friend of my Dad’s who happened to be a movie producer. He was the son of the founder of Little Caesar’s pizza and he had produced many films including Lost in Space. I don’t know what it was about that experience but I remember thinking to myself at a young age that producing movies was within reach of what I could do. Now most seven or eight year olds have grandiose dreams but I really thought I could do it and I told my Dad who believed I could to. It was the first “light-bulb” moment I had where I began the process of thinking about the type of work I wanted to do for a living and what possibilities were out there.

Years later in middle school and high school I fell in love with cameras and journalism and became the editor of the year book and newspaper. This experience gave me the courage I needed to pursue film.

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I was 28 years old and I was having a melt-down. On the outside things seemed to be going ok. I was newly married, had a full time job working for a non-profit as a video producer and was doing what I loved or at least thought I was doing what I loved. On the inside I felt trapped and I knew that I was STUCK. How could this be? All my life I had wanted to tell stories through film and I was finally getting paid to do that with lots of freedom. While most people would be jealous of my position and creativity I was inwardly depressed and wanting a way out.

What was wrong?

While at the time I couldn’t really put my finger on it I knew that I was being stretched too thin and that ultimately I was doing many things I wasn’t really that good at. While some video producers are great at doing “everything” I wasn’t. I frequently kept getting assignments to create projects that were very documentary in nature and I soon discovered that for some reason I cared very little for this type of work.

I had a light bulb moment one day while I was creating a short film for a film competition. Their was this feeling of excitement of endless possibilities surging within me. I remember thinking that if I could bottle this excitement and funnel it into my work then maybe I could find my calling.

One day I was at an event where a video I had produced was about to play in front of hundreds of people. I had spent months working on this project and was proud of the overall video. Then it happened. Something went wrong with the projector or computer and it didn’t play. I knew I had to do something different. I decided that night I was ready to quit and so I did.

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In 2012 I made the move from Houston, Texas to Los Angeles, California. After packing up all my belongings in a U Haul I headed west.  Once things were settled in Los Angeles I began applying for hundreds of jobs and heard nothing from any of them. I thought surely with a film degree and my experience as a video producer someone would hire me. Nope. No one would give me a chance. I was depressed and kinda worried I might never make it in this industry. I started applying for non-film job and couldn’t even get a job at a fast food restaurant. Then I got a tip on some work that led me to apply to drive cars and be a Valet Driver.  Here I was a college graduate who had worked for various non-profits and I was driving cars for a living.  I wasn’t making movies yet but I was getting closer. One day while I was running back and forth from driving cars I had another light bulb moment. I begin to think to myself that its possible that no one owed it to me to give me the job I really wanted. The only way I knew for certain that I could produce movies was if I developed and financed them myself. From that day forward I begin to develop projects and creating a brand.

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My big break came when I was hired to work on several independent movies for $50 a day. I was working 12-14 hour days so technically it came out to $3.50 an hour or less. I wasn’t making much money but I was on a movie set and I was working my way toward realizing that dream to tell stories on a grander level. I was working in the camera department working as a 1st Assistant Camera and was feeling stuck. I slowly began to realize that while I enjoyed the job the job was not 100% fit for me. The technical nature of camera work was not my forte and I was missing out on using my strengths that involved leadership, management and creativity.

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I was still working in the camera department when I got the opportunity to convince someone to give me a chance and work as the Assistant Director for their small movie. I was successful and this “break” gave me the courage to pursue working in production as a (Line Producer, UPM, 1st AD, 2nd AD etc). Since that time I’ve been blessed to work on 40+ film/tv shows and was able to join both the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.  Whenever I get to use my strengths and passions in a leadership/management position on a movie set I feel completely energized.

My experience finding a career that was meant for me has led me to help others.

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